Legal custody and parenting determinations are complex, and nothing is more detrimental to the proceedings than a parent’s inability to be there with the child. That’s why members of the military worry about parenting plans. When their deployment or relocation, often unexpected, takes them out of Washington or their home state, it can make a complex situation more difficult to handle.
Will deployment hurt your case?
Since 2009, no party can use deployment as grounds to file a Petition to Change Parenting Plan. Your parenting rights have been clearly defined to protect you.
Your ex has your child while you’re deployed. What happens when you return?
If you are a custodial guardian and deployment forces you to leave your child with the other parent, the courts say you can get your child back within 10 days of your return. You will not need a hearing.
You are being deployed. Can you get the court to expedite your schedule before you go?
For divorce or petition to change a parenting plan, there is a provision for a special or expedited custody and parenting hearing. If you cannot be there, you have the option to submit testimony by phone, internet or video.
Can you give your time to someone else while you’re deployed?
As long as it’s in the child’s best interests, you can delegate scheduled time to a relative of your choice during your absence. However, choose your delegate carefully as the other parent can argue that the delegate is unreliable.
No parent should have to worry about what happens to their child while they’re away. If you’re serving in the military, you have rights when it comes to your custody plan. Have a solid understanding of your custody and parenting rights can help you make sure they’re protected.